The database needs you. The users need you.
JOIN TYPO DEATH SQUAD NOW!!!
Seek your fame and fortune in an elite corps of fanatical, fearless and incredibly lethal node ninjas. Performing your duties, you will travel to unusual places, meet interesting people, and kill them! Wait, that's not quite right...
What is Typo Death Squad?
There is a marginal chance that you, Joe/Jane noder have received a message correcting a typo in one of your writeups with the tag Typo Death Squad followed by some cryptic and/or possibly insane-sounding message. Worry not, gentle noder, do not inspect under your bed for deadly ninjas.
Typo Death Squad, hereafter referred to in this document as "TDS," is an ad hoc, independent undertaking to help polish the database to a bright, pearly sheen and provide a valuable service to noders around the world by helpfully spotting typos, misspellings, and the occasional grievous formatting error. Since the days of raising the bar began, the length and complexity of writeups have increased wonderfully. With these higher word counts, however, the chance of typos slipping through the author's attention has likewise increased.
What is Typo Death Squad not?
Most importantly, TDS is not a reason to be an asshole. It's not a large stick to beat someone with, or any other sort of weapon - except against typos themselves. It is not concerned with the content, quality, or overall form of any node or writeup anywhere. It is not concerned with facts or opinions. The only goal of TDS is to help users and content editors correct errors. That's it. Nothing else.
Also, TDS is not sanctioned or blessed by the established power structure of E2. This is a benign, grassroots effort. This is not intended to challenge or confront the power structure of E2 in any way. Those that are content editors or gods are such for a reason, and I fully support them despite rumors of past activities otherwise. If you want a revolution, go put on your black hooded sweatshirt and go outside.
Do you have what it takes?
If you've been here for at least a month and have a working grasp of language, grammar, and spelling, chances are you have what it takes. However, being a member of TDS requires a fair amount of objectivity, in that you separate yourself and your own opinions about the node in question from the typo you've found. It does not require very much of your time, outside of the time you already spend here creating and reading nodes. Basically, you make an oath with yourself to always take the time to message an author of a node - in a friendly manner - or sumbit the w/u in question to E2 Broken Nodes about the existence of a typo.
What do you get out it?
Nothing. No promises of blessings, XP reward points, or any other sort of compensation, outside of the satisfaction of being helpful and the knowledge of a job well done. In the time that has passed since I started TDS as a personal endeavour, I estimate that I've messaged somewhere between a few dozen to a hundred or so noders, and every single time I've messaged them, I've received a pleasant and heartfelt thank you message, except for one user, but they were very new. No skin off my nose, they fixed the typo. Thank you messages are wonderful, but not expected nor required.
Who may join?
Everyone interested in helping out, doing a good job and being pleasant about doing so. Content editors and gods are also quite welcome to join, and it would be nice it if at least one of the above joins to help out and provide guidance and mentorship.
If enough users join, there is a god that I've been in communication with that will assist me in setting up a usergroup for TDS, which would be used for questions, communications, gossip, and general ass-grabbery.
Why Typo Death Squad?
Why not? Though the database is a large, robust and fantastic thing, it is always an ongoing project. The primary goal and function of Typo Death Squad, above and beyond fixing typos, is to increase the awareness that all users have the power to help correct typos. Typos and errors abound in astoundingly brilliant writeups. The content editors are of finite number, and though they are of impeccable skills and qualities, they are over-worked as it is and only human. Let us help them by helping ourselves and others. The name Typo Death Squad is meant to inspire a certain level of fanaticism and attention to detail, though not necessarily of violence or domination. Besides, it's just plain silly. Envision legion hordes of black clad warrior ninja wielding red felt markers. Cue the monkeys.
I have been asked "What's the point?" in a number of ways, by a number of people. The main point is to spread the word and empower everyone, not just our poor, over-burdened content editors, to help maintain the database. The secondary point is to form a public alliance, if only to know that we are not alone. Lastly, the point is to have fun.
The Typo Death Squad oath:
I promise to myself to take the time, every time, to help correct typos and errors as I find them in the database. If I have the capability to vote, cool, or editor cool writeups I promise to inspect the writeup in question for typos, formatting, and spelling and attempt to assist in correcting them in an amicable and civil manner before taking the action in question, or - as the case may be - shortly afterwards.
Guidelines for participating in TDS:
Enable the blab! function found in your user preferences, as it's the easiest way to communicate directly with the author of the writeup in context, and saves keystrokes.
Become familiar with the Broken Nodes SuperDoc, E2 HTML tags, HTML symbol reference, the various members of the Content Editor and Gods usergroups, and the spelling reference of your choice. (I use google as a quick spell checker.)
Be nice. Or else. It is counterproductive to be snide, sarcastic, or use condescending, superior language when messaging authors. Don't be a dick.
Avoid pestering or otherwise judging content editors about typos with crap like "Fix this now!" It's really not that big of a deal. If you have an ongoing, working relationship with a god or content editor, feel free to utilize that. The content editors and gods have enough to do, and it's a thankless job usually. Use the broken nodes superdoc, and someone will get to it, usually sooner rather than later.
My general rule of thumb for choosing between blab!ing to the author or submitting it to broken nodes is that if the author has been active within the last two weeks (or I know that they frequently spend up to a month between E2 visits) I choose blab!. Any errors found in writeups by users inactive for more than a month get submitted to the broken nodes superdoc. So far this ratio has worked really well. The longest period of time between blab!ing to an author and receiving a "Thanks, fixed!" message has only been three or four days. Writeups submitted to broken nodes usually get fixed within minutes or hours.
Note that if you plan on submitting multiple writeups to broken nodes in the space of one server day, you can only submit to broken nodes - and have that writeup marked for destruction - once per day. Any further submissions to broken nodes after the write-up has been marked for destruction in that day run the risk of not being seen. Try to submit errors there in groups.
On Webster 1913 errors: Lord Brawl has suggested that Webster errors be blab!ed directly to Webster himself, as Lord Brawl checks the inbox for that every few days.
Identifying typos in large writeups can be problematic. I generally use the Nth paragraph, Nth sentence format. Occasionally, I will provide a copy of the surrounding text, or some other searchable string to aid the author in finding the typo(s) in question.
Suggested blab! message format. This is only a suggestion. As a member of TDS (or not), you don't have to use this format or the TDS tag. The point of using the TDS tag is to help spread the word about TDS, and to explain that a typo correction is not a judgement of the work in question, only helpfulness in correcting it. Feel free to substitute HTML symbols in place of -> or to make up your own format. (Thanks call!)
6th paragraph, 4th sentence: "sumbit" -> "submit"? Typo Death Squad strikes again!
Each sentence that is not a paragraph header is counted as a paragraph. Each paragraph with header is counted as one paragraph. Note the Typo Death Squad tag and message. The purpose of this is to increase the awareness of TDS to the userbase, and increase its membership and further empower the users of the database to help polish it. The post-message message is up to your own twisted imagination. It's just meant to be fun, in the vein of a superhero catch phrase a la Darkwing Duck, or The Tick. The important thing here is to have fun. It helps negate any possible drudgery from the task, and may open opportunities to make new online friends and associates here on E2. Everything is a community.
If you wish, you may message me and I will make your membership in TDS publically known via a list maintained here, or you may announce your membership on your homenode in any manner you see fit.
Typos or grammatical errors in this writeup? Highly likely. Consider it cosmic irony or sheer stupidity, and feel free to message me about them. Than
skks! (Thanks to C-Dawg for pointing out several greviousgrievous spelling errors and errata. I'm an idiot. He declined membership, perhaps wisely.) (Update: More typos and blatant misspellings continue to be found here. This is not intentional irony, just absolute stupidity on my part.)
Members of Typo Death Squad:
- 00100("Sign me up! I send out almost a dozen typo msgs a day, so this is right up my alley.")
- Albert Herring
- belgand (added under threats of pain and bodily harm)(update 9/21/2003: (r) belgand says re Typo Death Squad: I may have been added under the threats of bodily harm, but now... I do it for the ladies. Oooh y-eah!)
- call (anti-union shop steward, per request)
- fuzzy and blue $ The anal-retentive English teacher who lives in my forebrain is a force to be reckoned with. Fear her. Also, I want YOU to correct your HTML. (she corrected my html. boy did she correct my html. i fear her!)
- haze $ (I can't help it: I see them, I fix them. I also take requests.)
- heppigirl(23:20: heppigirl: I want to be on the typo death squad..it's my stupid scientific documentation background but god I'm anal sometimes (and still as guilty as the rest of the planet of making them.))
- ideath @
- Jurph $ (re Typo Death Squad: You are requested to immediately BURN my membership card in Typo Death Squad. If I am caught fixing typos, you will disavow all knowledge of my presence. As an editor, I solemnly vow to fix one typo without the author's knowledge in three writeups per week. My work here may already be done... :-) (Somehow, he has embedded some sort of invisible metadata in my w/u text that set "membership_type" to Ultra Secret, and "classification" to Burn Before Reading. I tried wrapping it in pre tags and it stayed invisible.
phear... See: Jurph should not be allowed to play with fireworks))
- Lord Brawl @ ("I may already be a member! I send many typo blab!s each day. If this concept survives the sudden writeup death period, count me in.")
- metal rozsa
- no one
- Oolong $ (Master of All Tea in the Known Universe.)
- Rational Bastard
- shallot despite the rather strange name, i'm in :)
- SharQ (buut i could neveer be a membur. Ai alwais tend to speeel things notrightly. But shank you for settingg thiis up. I iss probly a good idea.)
- Swap *ka-click* The hour has come for those typos. May God have mercy on their souls.
- XWiz $ "...I just want to see my name at the bottom of this writeup..."
/msg to be added. Allow up to multiple
daysmonths for it to appear. Thanks. Feel free to add yourself if you happen to be an editor or god.
Update: I've become lazy about updating the list. Apologies to the folks that have been waiting for months. Also, you don't need my permission (or anyones!) to politely point out typos for people. Feel free to claim Typo Death Squad as your posse, yo.